Scholarship & prizes

ORC technology research scholarships



The ORC technology research scholarships are a competitive scholarship for students and researchers to pursue R&D projects in field of ORC technology. The scholarships are intended to enhance educational experience of graduate students and young researchers as well as to foster knowledge exchange among professional researchers of the field.

The bi-annual scholarships cover travel and accommodation related to short-term research projects of 3 – 6 months. The grants are 3.000 – 10.000 € depending on project duration and location of the hosting institution.

The fourth call for proposals is now open until the 31st of December 2018. Evaluation will be completed before February 2018 and the scholarship can start as soon as April 2019.


Eligibility requirements:

Any student and researcher working in the field of ORC technology can apply to the research scholarships. The nominee must have obtained an academic degree (Bachelor, Master, PhD, or equivalent degrees) within five years from the year the applicant wishes to apply to the scholarship. The definition of the research project and the visit shall be organized by the applicant together with the hosting institution before applying.


How to apply:

Please send your application including the listed documents to the scholarship committee secretary.

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Project description (max. 2 pages) and period
  • Motivational letter (addressing on how this project contributes to the knowledge exchange in the ORC field and how the acquainted knowledge is shared after the end of the project with the community)
  • Support letter(s), with the statement that the hosting institution is willing to provide office space.


Review process:

All complete applications are reviewed and ranked by the KCORC scholarship commission based on the selection criteria below. The number of granted applications is connected to the available resources which derive from the profit of the conferences, workshops and seminars organized by the KCORC committee.


Selection criteria:

  • Quality of the applicant
  • Research project (relevance, novelty, application)
  • Education / Knowledge exchange / Long-term impact (application of and passing on of research experience)          

Recipients of the KCORC 2018 Scholarship (4th call for proposals)

Antonios Charalampidis, National Technical University of Athens (Greece) - host institute: University of Liege (Belgium)

I am Antonios Charalampidis, PhD candidate at the National Technical University of Athens, Greece and I have been granted the KCORC Scholarship for a research project at the University of Liege, Belgium. The subject of the study concerns the techno-economic assessment of reversible heat pump/organic Rankine cycle systems and the experimental investigation of an existing unit at the University. The project aims to provide insight into the different configurations of reversible systems in terms of components selection and system layout. The analysis will be conducted based on models developed and validated through the experimental campaign. Finally, an expected outcome of the scholarship is the publication of the results and the enhancement of additional research after the end of the project.


Yongqiang Feng, Jiangsu University (China) - host institute: Imperial College London (United Kingdom)

I am Yongqiang Feng, associate professor of Jiangsu University. I have been granted with the KCORC Scholarship for the research project “Working fluids selection and thermo-economical optimization of organic Rankine cycle using nano-mixture working fluids” under the supervision of Prof. Christos N. Markides at Imperial College London.

I have undertaken a significant amount of work on the thermo-economic optimization of ORC systems in this context, and published over 20 papers and books on this topic. I have proposed models for working-fluid mixtures and have also conducted a series of experimental tests on the operational characteristics of a 3-kWel ORC prototype when using 3 working-fluid mixtures (0.67R123/0.33R245fa, 0.50R123/0.50R245fa and 0.33R123/0.67R245fa) along with a comparison against 2 pure working fluids (R123 and R245fa).

I am now currently leading an on-going project to improve the thermo-economic proposition of ORC systems by employing nano-mixture working fluids, in which nano-particle additives are used to overcome the known limitations of phase-change heat transfer experienced by multi-component fluid mixtures. This can provide a solution to the known heat-exchange performance deterioration experienced when using mixtures and unlock their promise in reducing the thermo-dynamic irreversibility associated with heat-transfer in the cycle, and improving its efficiency.


Haoshui Yu, NTNU (Norway) - host institute: KU Leuven (Belgium)

I am Haoshui Yu, a postdoc at Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and I got my Ph.D. degree from China University of Petroleum (Beijing) in 2017. I am one of the recipients of the KCORC 2018 Scholarship. The host institute is KU Leuven (Belgium). Since my Ph.D. project, I have been working in the field of organic Rankine cycle for industrial waste heat utilization, mainly focusing on process integration and optimization of large scale ORC system for waste heat recovery in oil and gas industry. I will stay at KU Leuven for 3 months from June to the end of August 2019. The research project “Performance comparison of organic Rankine cycle and CO2 cycle for LNG cold energy recovery ” will be carried out under the supervision of  Prof. Sylvain Quoilin.

The project aims at investigating the potential of ORC and CO2 cycle for LNG cold energy utilization. The working fluids for ORC operated at cryogenic temperature are different from the working fluids for conventional ORCs, thus the systematic working fluid screening will be investigated. In this project, potential working fluids and CO2 will be compared from both thermodynamic and techno-economic perspectives. The process optimization and process synthesis will be performed simultaneously in this project.

The project will contribute to the development of more efficient energy systems for LNG processing plants, reducing carbon dioxide emissions of the LNG chain. The findings of the project will be presented at the next KCORC conference, other renowned conferences in the field of ORC, LNG and Process System Engineering. 


Recipients of the ASME ORC 2016 Scholarship (3rd call for proposals)

Silvia Lasala, University of Brescia (Italy) - host institute: Laboratoire Réactions et Génie des Procédés (France)

My name is Silvia Lasala and I am currently working as a researcher of the french CNRS (“Centre national de la recherche scientifique”). Starting from October 2017 I will be working at University of Brescia and I will benefit from KCORC scholarship to work in France at “Laboratoire Réactions et Génie des Procédés” over the project “Optimal working fluids for Organic Rankine Cycles and CO2-based transcritical cycles”.

The first main outcome, expected from this research, is the development of an open-source computer program that enables the optimization of binary mixtures for closed power cycles of pre-defined configurations, considering heat sources and sinks characterized by user-defined temperature profiles. The program will automatically select optimal mixture components (and composition) among a custom-built database of zero-ODP pure species that the final user will be able to extend. The program will incorporate the most robust algorithms for the calculation of thermodynamic properties of multicomponent systems by means of standard and advanced cubic equations of state, eventually accounting for the presence of reversible chemical reactions. A further target of the project, to be developed in parallel to the previous one, aims at extending the experimental capability of the laboratory installed at the University of Brescia, which currently enables to test the thermal stability of pure fluids. Such an extension will enable the laboratory to investigate the thermal stability of mixtures.

Results of studies preliminary to the commencement of this work will be presented in September 2017 at the IV International Seminar on ORC Power Systems, ORC2017 (work entitled “The design of CO2-based working fluids for high-temperature heat source power cycles”) and at Solar-PACES 2017 (work entitled “Advantages of mixtures in CSP power block”). Final results obtained during this six-month activity will be disseminated among the scientific community by means of publications on international journals, while the open-source computational code will be made available on a website specifically created for this purpose.
Lorenzo Tocci, University of Rome (Italy) - host institute: Brunel University (United Kingdom)

I am Lorenzo Tocci, a PhD student at “La Sapienza” University of Rome and I have been granted with the KCORC Scholarship for the research project “Dynamic modelling and simulation of waste heat recovery systems based on the ORC technology using Artificial Neural Networks” under the supervision of Prof. Apostolos Pesiridis from Brunel University (London, UK).

The project aims at investigating the potential of Artificial Neural Networks in modelling the transient operations of ORC systems.  Dynamic models characterize the behavior of ORC systems under transient conditions. The dynamic analysis is extremely important for applications in which the duty cycle of the heat source presents fluctuating behavior such as vehicle or solar applications.  Artificial neural networks (ANNs) allow to derive the transfer function between input and output variables, without the need to derive a mathematical model based on the physics of the process. ANNs can reduce the computational time of traditional modelling techniques, which is crucial in the actuation of an optimized control system. The model will be validated against the experimental data from a 20 kW ORC system, currently installed at Brunel University.

The projet results have been published in: L. Palagi, A. Pesyridis, E. Sciubba and L. Tocci. Machine Learning for the prediction of the dynamic behavior of a small scale ORC system, Energy 166 (2019): 72-82.


Olivier Dumont, University of Liege (Belgium) - host institute: Queen's University Belfast (United Kingdom)

I am Olivier Dumont, PhD candidate at University of Liege, Belgium. I will be defending my thesis next September and, afterwords, I will continue as a PostDoc researcher. The funding provided by this scholarship will allow me to further my knowledge about trans-critical ORC systems. More specifically, a trans-critical ORC test-rig including a spinning scroll will be tested and modeled in Queen’s university (UK). Several publications about thermo-economic optimization, experimentation and modeling of trans-critical ORC systems will be published in the next months.


Joshua Keep, University of Queensland (Australia) - host institute: Delft University of Technology (Netherlands)

I am Joshua Keep, a PhD Candidate at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. I used the Funding I received from the KCORC scholarship to complete a trip to TU Delft in the Netherlands from January to June 2017.

During part of this stay, I worked on numerical simulations towards verification and validation of the CFD solver SU2 for turbomachinery applications. This work was presented at ORC2017 and titled "Preliminary verification of the open-source CFD solver SU2 for radial-inflow turbine applications".

Whilst at Delft, I also conducted numerical studies on the design of components for supercritical CO2 radial inflow turbine components. One study was the development of a novel space constrained diffuser geometry, whilst a second piece of work was to utilise adjoint shape optimisation for stator nozzle guide vanes. Both of these pieces of work will be published in the near future.


Recipients of the ASME ORC 2015 Scholarship (2nd call for proposals)

Giuseppe Bianchi, University of L'Aquila - host institute: City University London

I am Giuseppe Bianchi, post-doctoral research fellow at the University of L’Aquila (Italy), and I am one of the recipients of the ASME ORC 2015 Scholarships for the project entitled “CFD analysis on a sliding vane rotary expander for ORC-based exhaust heat recovery in heavy duty automotive applications”. Starting from January 2016, the research activities will be performed at City University London (United Kingdom), the reference institution for numerical studies on positive displacement machines, under the joint supervision of prof. Ahmed Kovacevic and prof. Roberto Cipollone (University of L’Aquila).
The granted research project strives to fill the technological gap that is currently preventing an employment of ORC systems in automotive applications which, in turn, might improve the overall fuel economy and CO2 emissions reduction in heavy-duty vehicles. Indeed, the harsh operating conditions and the strict requirements that automotive contexts usually demand call for a lightweight, reliable and efficient technology for the expansion device that the industrial and scientific communities have not been able to provide at an industrialized level yet.
In this framework, CFD analyses will be carried out to improve the recovery performance of a small scale sliding vane expander which was designed and extensively tested during my doctoral activities through experimental campaigns using a dynamic engine test bench to set design and off-design operating conditions to the expander and the whole ORC energy recovery system.
The usage of numerical simulations to investigate sliding vane machines has a highly limited extent in the scientific literature. Therefore, the development of a numerical methodology for such devices is an additional novel feature of the current research project whose outcomes are going to be shared with the ORC community through forthcoming publications on peer-reviewed journals as well as on international conferences and on the KCORC website.
The outcome of the research project granted by the KCORC scholarship were presented at the following international conference:
G. Bianchi, S. Rane, A. Kovacevic, R. Cipollone, S. Murgia, G. Contaldi, Development of a general numerical methodology for CFD analyses in sliding vane machines and application on a mid-size oil injected air compressor, in: Proceedings of the 23rd International Compressor Engineering Conference, Purdue University, 2016.


Pardeep Garg, Indian Institute of Science - host institute: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

I am Pardeep Garg, PhD. candidate at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore, India. I am about to submit my thesis and would join as a post doc at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US with the help of the KCORC 2015 scholarship.

The project that I will carry out explores the design space for hybrid solar ORC systems and provides deeper insight into the thermo-economic optimization of micro-grids involving ORC. This work will enhance our understanding of the opportunities and dynamics involved in hybrid solar ORC systems with thermal energy storage, with an aim to minimize the specific costs of the power generation and the storage. A new scheme of power generation is proposed that couples concentrated PV to solar thermal to charge a dual hot/cold thermal energy storage system. Concentrated solar thermal and engine genset waste heat recovery contribute to charging the hot tank, while the cold storage is charged using a high COP vapour compression chiller during periods of surplus PV electricity. This thermal storage is charged in the hours of peak insolation and discharged via an economically optimized ORC with a mixture based working fluid. This scheme of power generation has the potential of reducing the cost associated with electro-chemical batteries and helps in providing un-interrupted power supply.

Results of this collaboration project sponsored by KCORC will be published in the next ORC conference and the appropriate platform in terms of presentations, peer reveiwed journals, web based media and other channels.


Recipients of the ASME ORC 2013 Scholarship (1st call for proposals)


Davide Ziviani

I am Davide Ziviani, PhD student at Ghent University (Belgium) and I have been granted with the KCORC Scholarship for the research project “Organic Rankine Cycle with Liquid Flooded Expansion (ORCLFE) using a Screw Expander and Internal Heat Regeneration for Waste Heat Recovery” under the supervision of Prof. Eckhard A. Groll from Purdue University (Indiana, USA). The Scholarship covers the expenses during the stay at Purdue University from May to October 2014.
The project focuses on evaluating the performance of a twin-screw expander with significant amounts of flooding, in order to investigate the improvements on the overall efficiency of an ORC system.  Furthermore, flooded expansion with internal regeneration offer significant efficiency improvements to ORC system
Due to the presence of the liquid phase, positive displacement expanders play a crucial role to ensure the power output from the system. A detailed expander simulation model will be developed that combines the aspects of the hydraulic expansion of the liquid and the simultaneous expansion of the superheated vapor.  First, the model will be based on a geometric description of the expander, which will allow the integration of a multi-chamber approach in order to compute the leakage flows accurately. Secondly, by introducing different control volumes for gas and liquid phases, the heat transfer rate can be calculated and, consequently, the impact of different flooding-ratios can be predicted.
Liquid-flooded expansion is a novel concept and until now the scientific literature on the subject is limited. Since the overall efficiency of a screw-type volumetric expander is generally higher than that of a scroll expander, evaluating the performance of the ORCLFE is particularly promising. Proving the feasibility of quasi-isothermal expansion experimentally, represents an important achievement for the whole ORC community and opens the door to new highly efficient solutions for ORC systems.

The projet results have been submitted for publication: D. Ziviani, B.J. Woodland, E. Georges, E.A. Groll, J.E. Braun, T.W. Horton, M. De Paepe, M. van den Broek. Development of general organic Rankine cycle simulation tool:ORCSIM. ECOS 2015 - The 28th International Conference on Efficiency, Cost, Optimization, Simulation and Environmental Impact of Energy Systems, June 30 - July 3, Pau, France.

and  D. Ziviani, B.J. Woodland, E. Georges, E.A. Groll, J.E. Braun, T.W. Horton, M. De Paepe, M. van den Broek. ORCSIM: A Generalized organic Rankine cycle simulation tool. ASME ORC 2015 - 3rd International Seminar on ORC Power Systems, October 12-14, Brussels, Belgium


Leonardo Pierobon
I am Leonardo Pierobon and I shall use the KCORC Scholarship for Virtual prototyping of mini-ORC power units for rapid design development and implementation. This project aims at developing an open-source simulation tool for the design of high-efficiency and cost-competitive organic Rankine cycle (ORC) turbogenerators based on the virtual prototyping concept. Design 1-D and 2-D models of plant´s constituents will be included in a component library after an in-depth validation against numeric values available in the literature and with experimental data from test facilities. The steady-state models will thus serve to construct virtual prototypes of ORC power units. Different design candidates will then be tested under severe operating conditions with dynamic models to spot possible system malfunctions. The project will be carried out in collaboration with the Technical University of Denmark and the Delft University of Technology.

Konstantinos Braimakis
I am Konstantinos Braimakis and I am currently participating in research regarding innovative ORC improvement strategies such as the supercritical ORC and the utilization of zeotropic mixtures as working fluids by following a holistic approach including not only thermodynamic but also technical and economic criteria. Furthermore, I am involved in the development of an ORC-micro scale power plant (15 kWe) aimed at investigating the potential of the ORC for waste heat-to-power conversion ( The mentioned project is extended until 2015 in order to build up an ORC test field for different kinds of turbines, evaporators and plant designs.

The projet results have been published in: K. Braimakis, A.-D. Leontaritis, M. Preißinger, S. Karellas, D. Brüggeman and K. Panopoulos. Waste heat recovery with innovative low-temperature Organic Rankine Cycle based on natural refrigerants. In Proceedings of ECOS 2014 - The 27th International Conference on Efficiency, Cost, Optimization, Simulation and Environmental Impact of Energy Systems June 15-19, 2014, Turku, Finland.

The results have been published in the ECOS 2014 special issue of the journal Energy: Low grade waste heat recovery with subcritical and supercritical Organic Rankine Cycle based on natural refrigerants and their binary mixtures.


Huixing Zhai
I am Huixing Zhai from Tsinghua University. My short-term research project will deal with the simulation of waste heat recovery ORC system using mixtures as working fluid. I will participate to the ongoing work in Liège regarding fluid mixtures modeling, and will integrate this mixtures model in a more general optimiztion model of the waste heat recovery ORC system.


Emiliano Casati

I am Emiliano Casati, PhD candidate at Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands. I will be defending my thesis next September and, afterwords, I will continue as a PostDoc researcher in another institution. The funding provided by this scholarship will allow me to keep on collaborating with my colleagues
at TU Delft, working at the FAST experimental setup to finally achieve the goal of proving the existence of the rarefaction shock wave.